Saturday, November 26, 2016

Traveling Light (4)

10"x15", assorted cotton fabrics, hand stitching, bronze beads, stencil and light molding paste.

My plan was to create small pieces and then gather them together as in a mosaic or manuscript. This was my first effort and I'm not sure (already is busy and says enough) if I'll add to it so for now I'll leave it loosely finished and see what happens. Staying with themes around direction, time, traveling and of course trust.
Update: 16"x15", new title "Finding Isiah"An addition of a digital copy of an ancient scroll on silk. NOW this piece feels complete. A big challenge putting this together and I'm back in the studio working on smaller pieces to grow together into one larger piece.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Bitter to Sweet

11"x16", silver leaf, assorted beads, embroidery and machine stitching, tea stained fabric.
I began this piece in late October and is one of many planned following the ancient routes leaving Egypt to journey into the desert. It is allowing me to take in the inner and personal meaning of this journey of trust. Archaeologists have found water at an oasis known to be bitter which aligns with the ancient descriptions and the writings that describe the bitter water divinely turning to sweet...much like life sometimes.
I've left the ties loosely knotted and cut as if from a larger manuscript. I've also been inspired by the tattered remains of early work being highly decorated with metals and beads...I can only wonder.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Framing Up

Not such a great photo...but you get the idea. These are from my solar efforts and I thought I would celebrate by framing and 'living' with these new additions. I won't be creating from solar prints until next year when the sun is a little more reliable. I have my favorites but even my non favorites are welcome for awhile. I have just about every wall featuring art so it is a take down put up process. I'm not a big fan of framing but there is something so special about taking a work and dignifying it with a finishing edge.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Making Fire

12"x18",cotton printed cloth, muslin, tea stained cloth, stamped cloth, machine stitching, silver threads and gold leaf, cut images, cloth pen and fashion trim.

This piece above is part of a two piece series... 'Constellation of Clouds' in the previous post is the other half. This one representing pillars of fire. I stayed with just cutting shapes with scissors and machine stitching...a challenge for sure. I look forward to return to my needle, thimble and thread.
 Both are 'maps' for the ancient desert traveler. For me these two have been a lesson in trust which is really good to have when making art!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Constellation of Clouds

12"x16", bits of cloth, all machine stitched, silver leaf.

Inspiration of this new work came from an ancient biblical writing speaking of the desert wanderer: "He attended them in a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night." I found this to be so beautiful, holy and poetic that I wanted to begin with a cloud map of sorts.
I gathered pieces of tea stained cloth and using my sharpest scissors to create these simple images. Took my brand new spool of silver thread and machine stitched this together using mostly straight stitch with and without a presser foot. Added lines with TeeJuice fabric pen and silver leaf and fashion trim! I consider this piece and the next (pillar of fire) to be my beginning pieces to new wanderings.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Dead Ends

Bits of cloth, rusted washers, stencils, stamped, rubber banded, long dips in black tea.
I've been exploring with hand made stencils and silk screen but with little satisfying results. This layout is drying and is a mixture of failed pieces dipped in a strong black tea. I like the results and think maybe I might have something to begin when I return to the studio. Today is the second day of our Indian Summer heat wave and I've planted myself in front of the fan but when I return, I will give these fabrics a try combining desert stories with my own desert dreams.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Blest Water

9"x11", bits and pieces of printed, dyed, bleached, stamped cloth. machine and hand stitching, digital print on organza.
This is about my fourth desert ritual bath (Hebrew- mikvah) and each one has been important to me in beginning new work. I was waiting on some rusting cloth and began this piece by combining and stitching small pieces of scraps found at the bottom of my cloth bundles. Couldn't help leading into squares, rectangles and imagery that resembles a desert rock setting. I added embroidery and colored organza and finishing with digital columns on a found ornate wall piece.
I love this time of year as it is so rich for me in memories of birthdays, holidays and acceptance of the beautiful fall season. Water is the true washing away and beginning again.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Ancient Water Garden

14"x17", solar and palm trees, embroidery, machine stitching, beads on assorted cotton and one paper stencil, hand stamped fish and gold design.

I was inspired by an ancient artifact depicting Egyptians tending a garden with a pond filled with fish and water fowl. From that inspiration to here was a long and rather primitive journey in imagery and colors. This is the last of my ancient garden series for now. I completed 6 and feel I've really had a chance to explore this solar print process.  August has been beach morning overcast and afternoon hazy sun...not ideal. I'm not sure what is next but I'm in the studio most days...keep you posted!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Garden Wall Relic

13"x14", gauze like cloth, muslin and cotton. Stamped and stitched by machine and by hand, silver beads, solar print and indigo and tea stains. I used what is called Sunography, a fabric that is a light sensitive 100% cotton in a variety of colors...measures 6"x6".
I'm fascinated by the latest discoveries of ancient mosaics which beautifully depict an assortment of birds, animals, fish and flora in amazing clarity. My piece is related to these findings and in my own way of creating what once was and what is now remaining. I focused on more of the dream image of art on a garden wall. The bottom tag with roman numerals is a way of cataloging as one might on a real dig. I used both indigo to help depict tiles and soaked the piece in tea for a more aged feel.
One more of ancient garden pieces and then I'll change it up a little. I work best if I move around on both subject and more solar print. I fully intend on coming back to these materials but a break will give me fresh eyes!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Homage Vl

5"x8", sun prints, satin, cotton, silver and glass beads, silver leaf, embroidery and machine stitching. Much smaller piece this time, a homage to the pomegranate. Lots of history connected to this unusual fruit. Native to Iran. I was taken by the theory that thousands of years of translations might have gotten it wrong and the pomegranate was the true forbidden fruit instead of the apple? I so like the color and shape of this healthy and special fruit and most of all the ruby red seeds! These shapes all began as sun prints, reversing the image on the small ones. Up next might be larger and maybe represent whole ancient dreamy gardens...!
I've been framing the pieces that I love and hanging them in the studio...surrounding myself in what speaks to me. Not every piece does that and sometimes it takes awhile for me to know which ones have my heart...enjoying this cool summer.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Show Closing

I was pleased to find my "Temple of Leaves" right smack in the center of the show...with title of the show above. I haven't been in a juried show in a long time and it was nice to share space with other artists. The show closes August 7th.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Homage ll

11"x11", unfinished, gold leaf, gold thread, embroidery, assorted beads, suede, silk, solar  prints.
The life and work of the ancient scribe fascinates me. The practice of botanical illustrations all the way back to Egyptian times also fascinates me. Add together with my love of biblical archeology and the line-up for exploring subjects is endless. This piece of the first of a homage to the everyday celebration of harvesting well loved fruit. This first being the "fig". Today it is still a beloved fruit in Turkey as well as surrounding countries.
My first experience of meeting the fig was visiting the yard of our Portuguese neighbors. Their yard was large with a massive palm tree and in the back portion was a small square yard surrounded by hedges. In the center was my first glimpse of a Fig tree loaded with fruit with overripe fruit on the dirt below. I had never tasted a fig and was encouraged by the grandmother to try and when I did and smiled...well...I found myself returning home with a generous bag full of the beautiful black/purple fruit!! No English words necessary just smiles and a  generous heart!
Pomegranate might be my next fruit to compliment this piece.
Solar printing is slow going. Some fault in the hours of sunshine, some in my limited photo shop skills and some due to my son visiting. I'll regroup and begin again!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Juno Calling

These are the three of the many moons of Jupiter. They are mixed media pieces using wide variety of materials. The series began around 2012 and I so enjoyed taking a look at our planets, moons and stars in our solar system. I created these relying on my art making skills, science info and mythology! With the REAL exploration going on I can't help smiling about my take on these moons and what information will be coming back on the real discoveries! The titles beginning at the top "Excavation of Ganymede". "Collisto's Heart" and last "Oceans Europa".

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Orchard Memories

9"x12", tea stained cloth, solar print cloth, machine and hand stitching, beads and twine.
A small collage of assorted solar prints. The tree and branches are painted and printed in the sun and the olive leaves are placed on wet solar paint and placed in the sun for printing. This is the second cloth piece using my experiments to create memories. I lived for several years in an agricultural area and the back roads led through miles of working orchards. The news spoke of the rains effect on the cherries, the bees related to almonds and reporting the walnut harvesting was big news. Ships from all over the world would dock in our port to pick up walnuts which was rather interesting to see the different flags

The sun has all but disappeared these past few days which can be typical for the summer. We have morning fog ...late afternoon low clouds and then the fog rolls back in the evening. They are promising more sunshine in the next couple of days and I will begin my experiments again.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Date Palm Garden

UPDATE:  When I began this piece and another solar garden piece I felt I was speaking of the ancient gardens of the desert. After working and looking I've come to another realization that these two pieces are more about my own garden memories. This one in particular draws me back to our trips to the Palm Springs CA area.... driving past the rows and rows of date palms in is quite a sight!  Also my childhood years were lived in and around the one gigantic palm tree across the street. The sounds of the fronds in the wind,the nesting birds and the squat thick trunk greeted me every day of my life up to the age of 21. Palms, date or otherwise have been an integral part of my outward view.
15"x18",solar prints, assorted treated fabrics, machine and hand stitching. The side panel features a garden gate that I did way back when and now I am approaching the garden (ancient) once again. This time using the solar prints. Four prints here and not all sharp which for me gives a vague, lost, day dream, desert feel....but I could be wrong?! I have one more begun and then I will play in the sun for a few days and see what I can create.

Monday, June 20, 2016

New Toys

I have been solar printing with one bottle of color....sepia. Now I ordered a Jacquard kit which includes three colors so now the fun might begin here in this new week, new summer, new work, full moon and yes, with new toys. I copied some instructions from the internet and I have a few YouTube films to watch and if that doesn't confuse me too much, I will start up my own play!"Ancient Garden"

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Sunny Days

Following the notes from my last post: I magically chose two story suggestions and three application suggestions. Not limiting myself to just these but allowing them to act as a beginning for new work. Above photo is an easy sun print using Jacquard Solar Fast in sepia. I love picking up items at the art supply and then just waiting for some free studio days to explore. I'm also using this sepia for painting on fabric and maybe later use it for negative (need to read instructions) transfers onto cloth. I used small olive tree leaves for the ones above and I like them all but especially the indigo piece. My only difficult right now is a sunny day. Yesterday was warm and bright sun but today the fog has rolled in so I'm out of luck for play. The perils of living at the beach!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Ruin III

20"x8" and framed 16"x24", Stitched the three pieces together and floated on a white mat board and then framed the piece with a white metal frame. This has a strong contrast between the soft almost tattered cloth with the hard edge white metal and glass frame...I like it and it holds up well in overhead lighting. The three levels speak well to me as a vertical spiritual journey.
I have already begun new work. This time to prevent indecision, I placed several of my different 'ideas to explore' on folded sheets of paper and yes, put them in a bowl, closed my eyes and Magically I picked out my next new assignment! I did the same thing with applications such as flour paste printing, silk printing, stencils,etc and did the whole 'bowl' thing but this time picked several papers as I will combine and layer to begin the new cloth piece. Now this works for me because I get so caught up and excited about explorations that I wander around for days in the studio.
This way I'm excited and looking forward to next steps...see you on the other side!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Fearlessly Flying Home

7"x8", fabric created by loose drawing of a ruin (archaeology magazine) with water soluble ink and following lines with freestyle machine stitching with addition of embroidery.

6"x8", circular bronze stamp, free style machine stitching and assorted embroidery stitches

6"x8" assorted pieces of cloth, scraps and printed papers. Free style machine stitching and variety of embroidery stitches.

I began this exploration using fabrics gifted to me by Constance Rose  , letting the cloth with its mottled markings speak to me as I followed these shapes with my freestyle sewing attachment. it was like driving with little steering and no and the shapes rather loose and interesting. I added  varied amounts of embroidery and the piece in the middle became moving shapes of wings and butterflies. The bottom one with added papers became a wall to me, old and held together by time. The third and top piece is a drawing i made with a water soluble ink pen of an old ruin. I started and stopped many times with all three pieces which left me feeling unsure of myself and direction. Now that these three pieces are complete, I'll connect them and frame as one piece. Sometimes I just need time away from the work to get a better perspective. I know I liked the freestyle stitching but not sure how that will fit with the next project. Onward to June!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Town Market

12"x15" A collage of photos taken in a variety of places. The pumpkins in the central valley of California, the pears and grapes in Ireland, assorted vegetables in the center in Vienna and the green peppers here in Santa Cruz. When I have traveled, I've always tried to find the local farmers market and in some places it is a fixture for hundreds of years. These farmer to home have been going on for forever and I can't see it dying out anytime soon. I used to go weekly here but I've slowed down...parking, carrying heavy bags but when I have gone it has been so much fun...almost a circus atmosphere, free samples, clowns and balloons, prepared food and a general fun atmosphere. I need to put this Wednesday or Sunday on my calendar as I'm out of local honey and nothing beats local honey!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Lessons in Faux Leather

Loved learning how to make this faux leather from brown paper and had to find a way to use it for the purpose of rolling up a piece of cloth as in ancient times. I used a beautiful cloth (I received from a giveaway at Connie Rose's blog} with a special note tucked between and wrapped this beautiful leather and attached it with rust string and beads and a key. The beads have sentimental value for me as they were the remains of a necklace from years gone by. Will I ever get to the bottom of my collection of stuff?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

First becomes Last

"First Becomes Last", 12"x14", assorted tea stained cloth, hand and embroidery stitching, muslin backing.
Mixed feelings about this one. I feel I've accomplished an old rather found piece due to the tea staining and the whimsy of the rolled up night sky gives me some magic. I'm pleased with the all over stitching as well as learning some new ways...feather stitch! I had stitched the beginning squares and rectangles together rather than machine and again I enjoyed slowing down and taking on a slow process of stitching. The title represents my first effort in this oasis series and the fact it just may become more of a sampler rather than the ancient journey in the desert. I had hoped to roll it up like a scroll in a faux leather paper but color and size just didn't work out. It's all a back and forth unfolding and I don't always get my way!
Not sure who stops by to visit or if all this personal explanation is even being read but it helps me clarify in a journal/sharing way. I realize the less wordy sites are more the photo with less and less words...answer with less and less words. I posted to Facebook from my phone for the first time and needed to keep it short because of the tiny keyboard...we are all in a hurry!!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Approaching New Ways

I've gathered together some blue, brown and yellow pieces....set up a comfortable (for me) composition and for now, I'll be stitching away. I've pulled out my stitching book and taught myself (left side) the basic feather stitch. My plans don't go much further as the story has just begun. I am stitching to a layer of loose weave fabric as well as muslin and I'm willing to change that as I move along. Beads? maybe. A background fabric? maybe. Paper? maybe. I love options and I'm sure as I progress there will be more. Mainly, I'm stitching as each piece demands and trying not to speed up or over think what I'm doing.
My son is visiting with his wonder dog Gus so I will be stitching when those quiet moments arrive. Happy Monday!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Tidying up!

 Finally took the time to do some tidying up. I sorted through my toss away and keep pile...perfect place to find the square or circle that mixes with what I'm working on. Usually I keep them all in a huge zipper plastic bag and when I'm at a loss, I start picking and looking and it takes forever because I don't know what I'm looking for but I'll know when I see it??? Now I have at least organized these scraps by color and placed each one ironed in a much smaller zipper bag. I'll post the beginning of a new piece tomorrow and the funny thing is I didn't use any of these beauties. Focusing on my new love of slow stitching.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Traveller's Altar

12"x18", tea stained cloth, assorted printed cloth, stamped cloth, paper, machine and hand stitching, ribbon and beads.
I believe this is my beginning of some new approaches and yet with my usual subject matter...still interested in the desert journey, antiquities of forgotten tribes and the forever love of cloth, beads and stitching. This piece represents (to me) a time when travel was measured with light weight burdens and that even altars and important documents needed to be rolled up and tied for safekeeping. I'd like to think of this cloth altar as a touchstone for the wayfarer: unrolling and saying prayers at the days end. Many rolled parchments have been found in clay jugs in caves as they were put there until the traveler would return.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Caravan Dreams

                                                         5"x11", "Caravan Dreams", walls are made of foam core & tape, Each wall carries a collaged circle form dismantled from an abandoned mixed media piece. Added assorted fabrics, machine & hand stitching and beads. The top dome has a Styrofoam base. the bottom legs (not seen) consists of three wooden spools from my grandmothers sewing tin. Inside is filled with red cloth and silver and black trim.
                                                     My inspiration started in fourth grade when our teacher read to us from a book about the adventures of Marco Polo. I was entranced! It became a favorite day dream...traveling ancient roads, trading silk, precious stones, beads, meeting Kublai Khan and later I continued these dreams to include camel caravans carrying incense through the desert.  None of these daydreams included robbers, dirt, heat, bad smells, etc...!
                                                        Each wall of this caravan box was a project in itself and then the connection to one another was also important. So it was like creating six pieces. I'm stopping the box series for now and going to pick up a project slower with less color, less demands...we shall see how long that will last?!

Friday, February 19, 2016

First Light

This cloth piece measures 15"x18" and was made especially for Roxanne Evans
Stout's new book "Storytelling With Collage".  Yes, there is a story that goes with this piece as well as lots of beads, embroidery, rust treated cloth, stamping and bits of gold. I have yet to receive my copy of the book so I'm pretty excited and I'm reading great comments on Facebook.
Somewhere around late 2008-2009 I discovered River Garden Studio and the connection began. I especially liked Roxanne's blog because it reflected on her art as well as her garden and her natural surroundings. We have left comments for one another over the years and I have found her words thoughtful, fun and encouraging. It doesn't surprise me that she is a well respected teacher of all things about art....skills and heart and I'm so pleased to be included in this book! To order your copy click here:  Storytelling With Collage

Monday, February 15, 2016

Saturated Color

9"x12", four color subtraction print. The fourth in a series of seven. Once the last color is printed the plate is empty and the series complete. Just a look back today while I'm busy at the work table putting together my box "Caravans". It's slow going and nice to remember a time when cutting and printing from a still life had more immediate results. The truth is I like the way my art making has evolved and I would have never guessed I would be so deep into fabric and beads?!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Hidden Dreams

12" x 6", made of used foam core and brown wrapping tape and paint. Covering outside with machine stitched and hand stitched cloth of varied sizes, paper, loose weave cloth to connect. Top triangle cloth connected with loose weaved cloth, stamped cloth and assorted beads as beads also on bottom. cork and cork pieces for legs and large bead for crown. Inside loose weaved cloth and a scattering of tea stained mica flakes.
Took some time not only creating the skeleton of the box but then delving into following a random piecing and stitching wrapped cloth. The strong pull in creating this box was the revealing what might have been long buried, a box of dreams? a box of treasure? a box of keepsakes? While on this art making journey, I couldn't help but think of all the lives lived and even my own life...questions come up as to lived fully? lived well? Altogether it's been a rich ride. My next box will be different shaped and I'll be dreaming of the silk road, silks, dusty roads, caravans, camels and maybe Marco Polo? Finding (creating) a box (my love of archaeology) with mystery has a huge pull in my art making.